Skip to main content

"Coercive" land acquisition on in Andhra Pradesh to build Singapore-type state capital

By Our Representative
Civil society network National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)-sponsored Dandi-to-Delhi Samvidhan Samman Yatra, currently in its second phase, reached the Amravati region, the proposed capital city of Andhra Pradesh, where it was told that the whole vision of making a capital city by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has “devastated the agriculture in more than 29 villages in the name of development.”
Talking with NAPM activists led by well-known Goldman Environment (also called Green Nobel) prize recipient Prafulla Samantara and top Gandhian socialist Sandeep Pandey, Kiran Kumar Vissa of the Rythu Swaraj Vedika said, the Shivram Committee recommended to set up capital either in a decentralized manner or in Rayalseema.
The yatra, which began at Dandi, Gujarat, on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, will end on world human rights day, December 10, in Delhi. In its second phase, it reached Andhra Pradesh after travelling through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Telangana. 
“However, Naidu, rejected the report and decided to go ahead with the Amravati plan with a promise to make a city like Singapore. This obsession with western model of development has threatened the indigeneity of the area”, he underlined, adding, the acquisition of more than 50,000 acres of land for the capital city through coercive “voluntary land pooling” has left little option with the cultivators of the region.
“The benefits of consent and social impact assessment (SIA) provisions of Central land acquisition Act, 2013 remained distant for the people. From transparency to public hearing, everything was just bypassed to silence any voice raised against the acquisition. After land pooling, no farmers are allowed to cultivate the land even when no work started on the land”, Vissa said.
Worse, he said, not learning from the the devastation of Chennai flood, Amravati also seems to be following the footsteps of Chennai and encroaching on water bodies. It is the irony in the country that the real estate sector and businesses are being given priority on top of environment and people of the largest democracy.
The yatra reached Undavalli, the first village in the route. Activists took out a rally starting from the fields of Undavalli, with a large number of farmers joining them, suggesting discontentment among the people, suppressed since long by the state government.
Rythu Swaraj Vedika activists, talking with yatra participants, said, there are 120 documented different crops being cultivated in the region. The area is famous for its rich fertile soil which supports four or more crops at the same time.
Naji Reddy, a farmer from Nidamarru, the second village visited by the yatra, said, “On one acre of land, 50 people are dependent on an average, ranging from the families of cultivators to small-scale traders. An agricultural worker earns Rs 200-400 a day in the region. What will we do when we are dispossessed our land and livelihood? The government is giving us false promises like providing free education and health services in the name of development.”
Jayamma, a woman farmer from the village, said, “We are farmers and we only know how to cultivate our land. No amount can compensate loss of our life-long livelihood and basis of right to life. Money will be finished and we all will be left with no choice but to work as a worker in the factories where industries will rule our lives.”
“If the government and chief minister of Andhra Pradesh wants us to give up our land and livelihood, they should also be ready to give up their seats. They don’t deserve to represent us anymore”, she added.
At Lingyapalem, the third village, where a public meeting was organised by local community leaders, people said, the state government is hell bent on acquiring land and driving out everyone, including original inhabitants of the land. It is nothing but an injustice with adivasi, dalits, and landless workers.
Another public meeting was held in Ongole, organized by the Democratic Traditional Fishworkers Forum, APVVU, and State Yanadi Union, where local leaders expressed serious concern over the proposal to construction of 18 new ports and a large number of power plants, commissioned around ports on the 760 km long coastline of the state.
“All this is being done under Sagarmala and Industrial Corridor projects”, it was pointed out. “The access to the coast is being systemically restricted for the fisherpeople. They are being forced to abandon their fishing practices and become migrant workers in their own state.”
“We are unable to go for fishing as the rising urban population due to rapid urbanization around coasts and urban pollution are killing the fish population”, said A Subharav, a fisherman. “The coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms are being violated. Police officials brutally treat protesting fisher people. People are being killed and their bodies were taken away by the police forces”, added K Subharao, a teacher.

Comments

TRENDING

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Mayawati's 'success' depends on how BSP taps new crop of young Amdekarite leaders

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Whatever be the election results in Uttar Pradesh on March 10, it is extremely important to understand: that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader Mayawati have the potential to rise like a Phoenix any time.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

India's actual Covid death rate about 2500 per million, third highest in world: Study

By Rajiv Shah  There is now well-researched proof, if it can be called that, indicating that the Government of India may have fudged data to show lower Covid death rate. A new paper, published in “Science”, has said that while officially the Government of India’s Covid-related death estimates as of January 1, 2022 – 345 per million population – are one-seventh of the US death rate, the actual analysis of crude death rate in India suggests, this may be a gross underestimation. 

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."